All Things Upwork

Round of Applause (February 2009)

February 23, 2009 by

948 providers from 61 countries, including Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, and Austria got their first jobs in the last month. These 948 providers have already racked up 34,100 oDesk hours and over $331,334 in just one month. Congrats to the providers who landed their first jobs in the January! Want to get in on the earning action? Get oDesk Ready, fill out your profile, and apply to job openings! … Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Social Media: Word of Mouth 2.0 for Small Businesses

February 20, 2009 by

In the age of cyberspace and technology, social media is helping small businesses in a way never imagined as few as 10 years ago. If you’re not familiar with social media, think of it as word of mouth…upgraded! With colloquial applications like Twitter and Facebook on the rise, and bulletin sites like Digg and Reddit taking news stories to extraordinary heights, comes the potential to change the way small businesses do…well, business. Gary Vaynerchuk, social media enthusiast and host of Wine Library TV, talks about the power of word of mouth in social media in his video titled Word of mouth has changed: Word of mouth is on steroids, my friends. It’s Roger Clemens, it’s Barry Bonds, it’s – let’s throw Brett Boon in there – it is absolutely on steroids. More and more tools are being created every day to allow your word to travel in so many more places. Anyone running a small business knows the power of word of mouth. But when it comes to social media, what’s in it for your organization? Exposure and Marketing Having a web presence opens up a wide range of opportunities for small businesses. Simply having a website makes your business accessible to the entire world. Suddenly, your business card can be distributed across the globe with minimal effort. But is it enough? In some cases, it is – for example, a lawn care service may not need worldwide exposure. For companies embracing Internet technologies and globalization, however, social media is the wave of the future. In the example to the right, the first page of a search for the term “oDesk” on Yahoo! returns five links to social networking … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

The Freelance Economy according to oDesk: Improve Your Job Search

February 18, 2009 by

Still sick of hearing dreadful news every day about the U.S. economy?  Earlier this month, we provided some rare good news when we reported on the acceleration of U.S. freelance job growth.  Today, we’re going dig deeper into our data to try to provide a fair & balanced assessment on the state of the Freelance Economy.  We are going to answer three questions: 1)    Is outsourcing growing or shrinking as companies are tightening their belts in the recession? 2)    Is competition for freelance jobs heating up? 3)    If so, are wages being depressed? As a marketplace for online workteams, we keep close tabs on outsourcing trends, including growth, wage statistics, and country-by-country comparisons.  We share as much of this data as possible with our community of businesses & freelancers in our oConomy. This analysis is based off of oConomy data. 1. The growth of outsourcing Jobs aren’t just being slashed these days — they’re being clearcut like an old-growth forest. Yet work still has to get done, which is why freelancing and outsourcing continue to grow at a furious rate. With unemployment rates at their highest in 15 years, more skilled professionals are looking for freelance work, and leaner companies are looking to outsource functions rather than hire more full-time staff. The bottom line: Last year, outsourcing on oDesk nearly tripled. This broad-based trend, stretching across continents, had an interesting twist — a resurgence of homeshoring, in which U.S. buyers outsource to U.S. providers.  We reported on this trend earlier this month.  Notice that growth in the amount of work done in the U.S. was faster relative to other countries known for outsourcing, like India and Russia: We concluded that higher satisfaction rates … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

oDesk crosses milestone & unveils new oConomy

February 16, 2009 by

We’re a little obsessed with analytics here at oDesk. We start each day with a vigorous round of “Daily Predictions.” The rules of the game: Guess how many hours of work will be logged worldwide on oDesk that day (ending 4 pm Pacific time). Players must log their guesses in a Google doc by noon, and no one can pick a total within 20 hours of anyone else’s guess. Don’t even ask about the disciplinary procedures for sneaking in after lunch and changing your guess — they involve severe public shaming.  The winner gets bragging rights, his or her name in the official “winners column,” and the (grudging) admiration of colleagues. This is not a game for the faint of heart. Each of us has developed a personal algorithm, taking into account such variables as the number of hours already logged a the deadline approaches, the percent increase over the same day and time from the week before, and which guesses have already been claimed by rivals. It’s amazing that any work gets done before noon. Last week was an especially exciting for this pulse-pounding mental sport.  We crossed 10,000 online hours in a single day for the first time on Tuesday.  What does 10,000 hours mean?  That’s five man-years of work logged on oDesk in a single day. We couldn’t have crossed this important milestone without you – the more than 200,000 buyers and providers in 150 countries, so thanks for building our success, and for giving us a thrilling afternoon.  Imagine if we had money riding on this game. When we’re not swimming through our data for fun and sport, we’re crunching numbers to better serve our community.  We always like to be transparent, and like to share data … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

oDesk Launches New Blog

February 12, 2009 by

oDesk launched its new blog today, as a resource for our community of buyers and providers. We’ll use it to share relevant announcements, helpful tips on freelancing & outsourcing, and commentary & analysis with our community. However, oDesk users are the true experts. If you have expertise in an area that would be interesting to our readers, write a guest blog post (~500 words) for us! You’ll get to showcase your knowledge as a subject matter expert, and if you’re interested, we’ll link back to your oDesk provider profile or buyer company website. Here are a couple of recent posts from the community: The challenges of working from home How to get more work that you can possibly deal with See complete guidelines here. Amit Bakshi Manager, oDesk Marketing … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

My Teams Enhanced Features

February 12, 2009 by

My Teams has a few new features that we think you’ll appreciate. It’s not just for hiding Teams anymore! Easily distinguish hidden from non-hidden teams. Edit Team Names (Team IDs still cannot be changed) If your company has more than one financial account, see (and change!) which financial account each team uses. Whether you’re admin of one Team or dozens, you should definitely go check it out! We’re always working at add new features and improve the user experience. So keep an eye out for more great enhancements throughout 2009. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

oDesk Launches New Blog

February 11, 2009 by

oDesk launched its new blog today, as a resource for our community of buyers and providers.  We’ll use it to share relevant announcements, helpful tips on freelancing & outsourcing, and commentary & analysis with our community.  However, oDesk users are the true experts.  If you have expertise in an area that would be interesting to our readers, write a guest blog post (~500 words) for us!  You’ll get to showcase your knowledge as a subject matter expert, and if you’re interested, we’ll link back to your oDesk provider profile or buyer company website.  Email stories@odesk.com with your proposals. Amit BakshiManager, oDesk Marketing … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

My Teams Enhanced Features

February 11, 2009 by

My Teams has a few new features that we think you’ll appreciate. It’s not just for hiding Teams anymore! Easily distinguish hidden from non-hidden teams. Edit Team Names (Team IDs still cannot be changed) If your company has more than one financial account, see (and change!) which financial account each team uses. Whether you’re admin of one Team or dozens, you should definitely go check it out! We’re always working at add new features and improve the user experience. So keep an eye out for more great enhancements throughout 2009. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Joomla vs Drupal – Battle of the CMSes

February 11, 2009 by

Today we’re going to look at the growth of Content Management Systems, software packages that allow non-technical users to make changes to existing websites with little or no HTML training.  Joomla and Drupal are the two most popular CMSes on oDesk.  Earlier this month, we listed both of these platforms among our skills with the fastest growing demand of 2008, showing that they are more relevant than ever.  WordPress topped that list, but we’re considering it a blogging platform for the time being.  Now, let’s take a look at trends in Joomla and Drupal. There are currently 4,695 Joomla developers on oDesk, and 201 open jobs.  Joomla has shown steady growth over the last two years, from 300 jobs posted per month at the start of 2008 to over 500 today.  The average Joomla job size is 125 hours. There are about half as many Drupal developers (2,212) and jobs (108) on oDesk, but the average job is almost twice the size, at 234 hours.  Drupal, too, has shown steady growth from 125 jobs posted per month last year to 250 today. So, Drupal jobs have half the frequency and are twice the length, which may point to the platform being used more by larger enterprises, vs. smaller projects for smaller businesses for Joomla.  Although there are fewer Drupal jobs for providers to choose from, it seems to be much less competitive of a skill.  In fact, it made our list of the top 10 skills with the least competition and most opportunity, which we published in December. In any case, it looks like both Joomla and Drupal have sizable communities and continue to grow.  Providers with PHP … Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The challenges of working from home

February 9, 2009 by

Whenever I tell people that I work from home I get the usual “that’s cool!” or “you’re so lucky.” But it’s not always as “cool” or easy as one would think. Although working from home gives you freedom from rush hour traffic and killer pollution, it also calls for strict self-discipline. Procrastination is a real menace to people who work from home. With no boss to look over their shoulder to check if they are actually working, a lot of home-based workers take their own sweet time often resulting in missed deadlines, unpaid work, broken trust, and wasted opportunities. Since the environment at home is relaxed, home-based workers often have the difficulty of staying on “work mode”. We also have challenges with support. In a regular office environment when your fax starts to act up you just call maintenance, they fix it for you and you’re good to go. Your computer crashes two hours away from your deadline? No problem, most offices have LAN (local area networking) and you can access your files from a co-worker’s computer. When you work from home you are usually on your own. You are the maintenance man, the technical support guy and your very own Mr. Fixit-All. I have been working from home for more than a year and I can say that I have mastered the tools of the trade. To avoid giving in to procrastination, my first order of the day is to create a personal work schedule. I call on my self-discipline to adhere to it. I give myself small rewards (ice cream works best) whenever I am able to follow the schedule to the dot. I made a small office for myself and keep myself confined to my office during my working hours to keep myself in “work … Read Full Article

Uncategorized

How to Get More Work than You Can Possibly Deal With

February 4, 2009 by

I’m new at oDesk, and like most providers, the first couple of months were extremely frustrating. I posted repeatedly, but never seemed to get any jobs. Once in a while I’d get interviewed, but it never resulted in job offers. All this changed for me after I had an awakening. The result was a new approach to writing cover letters. It’s simple, and seems to work, assuming you’re really above average in your field. To quickly summarize my approach – Research. Give. Describe. The giving part may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s effective. Just try for yourself. 9 Things to Do When Writing a Cover Letter 1. Save your Powder Look for openings with either few bids, or requiring skill-sets you absolutely master. The ideal job post for a newbie is one where the buyer is from your area, ethnic group, or connected to you or your interests some other way. 2. The Hook Find an angle, or ‘hook’. The best bids are ones where you can learn something about the buyer, the site, project, or company. Many posts give specific details. So do some research. For example, looking at website projects, if there’s a URL, visit the site, find a problem/opportunity, and address it specifically in your cover letter. Use search engines like Google to find relevant information that may help you stick out. 3. Give You need to give now in order to get later. The newer you are, the more time you should spend writing each cover letter. I’ve spent as much as 3-4 hours per piece, giving a lot of detailed information, basically providing a taste of my knowledge and experience. 4. Always Sell Benefits, Never Features Don’t spend more than a couple of lines writing about your skills, knowledge, or … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Freelance Job Growth Accelerates in the U.S.

February 2, 2009 by

Are you sick of hearing dreadful news every day about the U.S. economy?  40,000 job cuts here, 15,000 layoffs there.  Unemployment potentially rising to 10% in this recession.  Fortunately, we have some good news for Americans today. We see over 11,000 jobs posted every month, and historically many of those jobs have gone offshore to lower-cost countries.  But, oDesk is a free market, and over the past year we’ve seen a resurgence in homeshoring, or U.S. companies outsourcing to U.S.-based talent. Why is this the case?  While rates are higher for U.S. providers, feedback scores tend to be higher, too. Work done in the U.S. grew at a rate of 367% from 2007 to 2008, 50% faster than oDesk’s overall rate of growth. This growth was faster relative to other countries known for outsourcing, like India and Russia. One driver for offshore outsourcing has been the lower cost of living in other countries like the Philippines and Ukraine.  Software developers and other skilled professionals in these countries require less income than their counterparts in the U.S.  As seen in the chart below, the U.S. average hourly rate is more than $6 higher than our average. In fact, when we break U.S. rates into job categories, we see that they are actually rising in skilled categories like software development. So then why are businesses choosing to outsource their jobs to U.S.-based providers?  One possible explanation is that there are more U.S. providers today, providing buyers a wider variety of U.S.-based skills and experience, than ever before. In December alone, over 20,000 new U.S. providers signed up on oDesk, the largest monthly percentage increase (over 40%) that we have seen since 2005.  Other possible reasons could be better ability to co-ordinate due … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Кто самый трудолюбивый?

January 30, 2009 by

На прошлой неделе мы немного поиграли с цифрами, вычисляя, какая из стран предлагает лучшее соотношение «цена-качество» на рынке фрилансерских услуг. На этой неделе мы решили поискать ответ на другой вопрос – кто самый трудолюбивый? Чтобы это выяснить, мы опять обратились к нашей статистике. Один из самых простых способов определить степень трудолюбия, это посмотреть, сколько люди работают. Итак, сначала мы посмотрели на среднее количество часов, отработанных пользователями каждой из 7 стран, возглавляющих наш список, в 2008 г. – всего за год, и по дням. Часов/активных пользователей Место Часов/день в 2008* Место Россия 399 1 4.9 2 Украина 308 2 4.5 3 Индия 266 3 5.0 1 Пакистан 241 4 4.0 4 Филиппины 218 5 3.4 5 Канада 142 6 3.1 6 США 89 7 2.8 7 *Общее количество часов, отработанных активными пользователями в каждой из стран, поделенное на количество отработанных человеко-часов. Пользователи из России возглавляют список по количеству часов в год, и занимают второе место по количеству часов в день. Причин, по которым некоторые пользователи работают больше, чем другие, несколько. Пользователи с высоким рейтингом, скорее всего, работают больше, потому что меньше времени тратят на поиск работы (Россия занимает середину списка из этих 7 стран со своим средним баллом в 4.30 из 5). Так же, пользователи, работающие над продолжительным проектом, работают больше, чем те, которые заняты краткосрочным заданием. Кроме того, пользователи с более низкой почасовой ставкой, как правило, работают большее количество часов (средняя ставка пользователей из России – $16.86, и она находится в более дорогой части спектра). В дополнение к количеству отработанных часов, мы также рассмотрели усилия пользователей по прохождению квалификационных тестов. Эти тесты позволяют пользователям продемонстрировать потенциальным заказчикам свой опыт в разных областях. Мы исходим из того, что вероятно, что те, кто проходит больше тестов и получает по ним более высокие баллы, также более трудолюбив. Пройденных тестов … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

oDesk Launches Beta Chat Support

January 29, 2009 by

Beginning this month, oDesk will provide chat support from the hours of 6:00 AM – 5:00 PM PST, Monday – Friday. We are committed to our customers success, and providing high quality, timely responses to customer service needs. We are hopeful that Chat will become an important communication channel for the Support Team, and our customers. Traditional EMail Support will also continue for all oDesk users. We are launching Chat Support as a Beta feature, and we will monitor staffing and service levels to ensure a quality user experience. As we learn, we may need to modify availability in order to maintain service. Please let us know how you feel about this new support channel, and we look forward to connecting soon. Shannon Adkins Director, oDesk Customer Service Update: We have had great success with chat support, and we have heard your feedback asking for expanded hours. As such, and in order to support buyers and providers outside of the Americas, we have expanded our hours. The new chat hours are from 12:00 AM PST – 5:00 PM PST (8:00 AM GMT to 1:00 AM GMT). Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Do Russians Work the Hardest?

January 29, 2009 by

The week before last, we had some fun with numbers by calculating which countries offer the best “value for money” in providing freelance work.  This week, we thought we’d try to answer a different question – who works the hardest?  To figure that out, we again dug through our data on individuals’ work activity on oDesk. One straightforward way to measure hard work is to look at how much people are working.  So, we began by looking at the average number of hours worked by service providers in each of our top 7 countries in 2008, total and per day. Hours/active provider in 2008 Rank Hours/day worked in 2008* Rank Russia 399 1 4.9 2 Ukraine 308 2 4.5 3 India 266 3 5.0 1 Pakistan 241 4 4.0 4 Philippines 218 5 3.4 5 Canada 142 6 3.1 6 United States 89 7 2.8 7 *Total hours worked by active service providers in each country divided by man-days worked Russian providers top the list in terms of hours per year, and came in 2nd for hours per day. There are several reasons why some providers may work more than others.  Providers with higher customer satisfaction scores may work more hours because they spend less time looking for work (Russians’ average feedback score of 4.30 falls in the middle of the spectrum of these 7 countries).  Similarly, providers working on longer-term projects tend to work more hours than those working on shorter gigs.  Finally, providers with lower hourly rates tend to work more hours (Russia’s average hourly rate of $16.86 is towards the more expensive side of the spectrum). In addition to the number of hours worked, we also considered individuals’ efforts in qualification tests.  These tests allow providers to demonstrate proficiency in various … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

oDesk Launches Beta Chat Support

January 28, 2009 by

Beginning this month, oDesk will provide chat support from the hours of 6:00 AM – 5:00 PM PST, Monday – Friday. We are committed to our customers success, and providing high quality, timely responses to customer service needs. We are hopeful that Chat will become an important communication channel for the Support Team, and our customers. Traditional EMail Support will also continue for all oDesk users. We are launching Chat Support as a Beta feature, and we will monitor staffing and service levels to ensure a quality user experience. As we learn, we may need to modify availability in order to maintain service. Please let us know how you feel about this new support channel, and we look forward to connecting soon. Shannon Adkins Director, oDesk Customer Service … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Representing oDesk at the Good Morning America Job Fair

January 28, 2009 by

For those of you who missed my blog post, oDesk asked me and fellow oDesk provider Erin to represent them at the Boston Great American Job Fair and talk to prospective providers about opportunities in online work. Here’s a little about how it went… I am a typically early riser (around 5:30 – 6:00) but even for me, 3am was very early to get up.  We arrived at the Sheraton in Boston at 4:45am. Now for a visual here, this hotel is one of the premier hotels in the area, and of course my first thought was where do I get coffee, but I decided to set up the oDesk table first and then head for coffee.  So off I went up the escalator and I was met with 12 security guards (go figure) and at least thirty people standing in line, resumes in hand, as well as the GMA staff setting up a table for people to sign in.  I entered the grand ballroom, and there were tables set up side by side 6 across and 6 deep for displayers. At about 5am my fellow oDesker joined me (I recognized her by the oDesk shirt she was wearing) and we decided we should wander downstairs for coffee.  Starbucks (disclaimer: I never drink Starbucks coffee) was still closed but we were assured they were going to open ‘early’ at 5:30.  I hate to tell you – when I’ve been up since 3am, 5:30 is NOT early!  At 5:30 we headed back downstairs.  $8.25 for a cup of cofee, a muffin and a tin of gum.  Oh well, such is life! So finally at 6am Tory Johnson announced that they were just about ready to begin filming and told us to not ‘fawn’ for the cameras but please don’t … Read Full Article

Show your stuff: creating your portfolio from scratch

January 26, 2009 by

At oDesk, as in the real world, it’s hard to get hired without experience – and hard to get experience without getting hired. The best solution at oDesk is to use your portfolio to show off your skills. Unfortunately, many of us don’t own the work we’ve done. In the forum discussions, you’ll find people lamenting that the work they’ve done is confidential, and can’t be used in the portfolio. I know just what they mean: I write for hire, and much of what I’ve written is out there with someone else’s name on it. Whether it’s the blog owner who likes to let it be assumed that the CEO of the company writes his own blog, or the web developer who rightly gets credit for the website she paid me to write, I can’t show my stuff. The way around this obstacle is to create something new. Even if you can use your work-for-hire, you may still want to create something new to show your talents in ways your commissioned projects don’t. There are two very easy ways to get your work online where you can show it off to prospective buyers: 1. Give it away. There are lots of people out there who will be happy to publish your good-quality work. I wrote a lesson plan for Valentine’s Day which was just posted at HotChalk, a PR6 domain for teachers. It also went out at the top of their email newsletter, which goes to thousands of teachers. They’ve given me an odd headline, as you can see in the screenshot, but I can live with that. I do a lot of blogging for the educational market, so this is a good showcase for my skills. It’s also a good showcase for my linkbuilding – the … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

From Queue to Interview: Finding the Right Provider

January 22, 2009 by

  A recent perspective discussed how to write a killer job description, designed to bring highly qualified providers rushing at you from all over the world. Now we’ll look at what to do if, uh-oh, it works. 1. Your first order of business is to smartly sift though the candidates queue. Some tips: Include a specific instruction or “captcha” in your job description, such as, “Include two URLs to previous jobs in your cover letter.” Applicants who don’t follow instructions, reject immediately. Reject ridiculously low or ridiculously high rates/bids — deal with serious people only. Remove providers with below-average feedback. Anyone under a 4.0 is in the bottom quartile of all providers. Tread carefully. Of course, a brand-new provider will have no feedback, and that’s natural. If you like her portfolio, give her an interview. If that goes well, you may have discovered a new gem before anyone else! 2. Once you narrowed down the candidate queue, carefully read each provider’s profile. Work history and feedback are very telling. A provider who has had only one job, but has billed 500 hours and is still in progress, is keeping her buyer very happy. If a provider has 20 one-hour or one-day jobs on his record, pay close attention to the tasks and feedback. (Hint: you can click on a job opening and see the original job description to compare.) Check to see whether he has passed relevant tests. If an interesting candidate hasn’t yet taken a test pertaining to your job, invite him to interview and ask him to take it — it’s free and shouldn’t take more than an hour. Review portfolios for the quality, style and range of their work. If someone doesn’t have a portfolio — request one. 3. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Nailing the Interview

January 22, 2009 by

So you’ve focused your profile, updated your portfolio and learned to write a persuasive cover letter, all to land an interview with a buyer. Now what? Here are some tips for effectively interviewing with remote buyers: First, the obvious: Be prompt, polite, professional and prepared. Consider the “Four Ps” the unofficial code of conduct in the oDesk marketplace. Be flexible. Time zones and communications preferences can be tricky; be willing to adapt to a reasonable time and the method — email, Skype, IM — that the buyer prefers. Given that, try to schedule your interview for when you are at your best. Do not interview at the end of your day, when you’ll be tired. Better to wake up early for an interview than to stay up late. If you are working on another job, make sure to stop at least an hour before your interview. You want time to wind down, get a fresh start, review any relevant materials, and make sure you’re giving your best. Make sure you won’t be disturbed — especially if you’re on the phone (or Skype) and at home, don’t let background noise or interruptions make you seem unprofessional. Bring notes. Have at hand examples of past work that are relevant to this job, and have pertinent links and reference contacts at hand. Double-check your portfolio. If there’s anything relevant to this particular opportunity that you’d like the buyer to see, get it into your portfolio or be prepared to otherwise direct the buyer toward it. Ask the buyer about his experience with providers. What bugs him about providers? What has he valued in remote workers in the past? Discuss how your strengths can make you the kind of worker he’s looking for. Are you willing to do … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Provider Spotlight (January 2009)

January 22, 2009 by

Each month we like to highlight 4 providers who’ve received exemplary feedback. Great job Sally, Kay, Katrina, and Imre — you’ve earned this! Sally M Sally Milo – Creative Design – What you want, when you want! eBay too Total oDesk Hours: 0 Overall Feedback: 5.00 (Based on 1 feedback) Comments: “Excellent work done exactly as I wanted it. Made changes with no fuss and great communication. Will be using again.” Kay W PHP wizard Total oDesk Hours: 132 Overall Feedback: 4.78 (Based on 3 feedbacks) Comments: “Kay responded to all emails very quickly, and he never lost patience with my constant requests for revisions on the project.” Katrina D Creative and Awesome Graphic Artist : ) Total oDesk Hours: 365 Overall Feedback: 4.90 (Based on 23 feedbacks) Comments: “Katrina goes the extra mile to make sure that you are satisfied and is open to making changes where necessary.” Imre T Software Developer Total oDesk Hours: 134 Overall Feedback: 4.80 (Based on 1 feedback) Comments: “Imre started out as beginning programmer on oDesk but proved to be a fast learner and very good worker over the past half a year!” Spotlight Providers must have earned a 4.5+ feedback score with a glowing comment on an assignment in the past month, have a 4.0+ overall feedback score, an impressive profile, and an individual portrait (no avatars or group shots). Only oDesk Ready public profiles are eligible. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Success Story: Danalyn West

January 22, 2009 by

Coder and Web designer Danalyn West started doing freelance Web design in 2002, but it wasn’t until last summer that she dedicated herself to full-time freelancing. She and her husband had relocated for a job that fell through after the move, leaving them both unemployed. “Panic ensued,” she says. Remembering that she’d once used oDesk as a buyer, she spent a week getting her profile as a provider in shape, and encouraged her husband to put himself online, too. “Within a week, my husband got his first job, albeit low-paying at first, and a few days later, I got my first assignment,” she says. She’s kept increasingly busy since then, and has also been an active presence in the oDesk forum and on her SavvyLancer.com blog — offering advice through both forums to freelancers and buyers, particularly regarding the oDesk marketplace. Q:   In the six months you’ve been active as a provider, what have you learned about marketing yourself to buyers? A: I learned that Mom lied when she said “don’t judge a book by its cover.” First impressions always count, and on oDesk, it happens with your profile and cover letter. If buyers make it past your cover letter, be able to back it up with a strong portfolio. Q:  Any tips on developing trust with new buyers? How do you approach your first conversations with a buyer? A: Just do the job and do it well — that’s the best way to build trust and credibility. Whenever possible, I always like to offer buyers suggestions for improvement (i.e., “Instead of doing that, you can do this and reduce the amount of work you have to manually do by X%”). I can’t tell you how many times this has won me the assignment. Q:  When you’re … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Buzzworthy! (January 2009)

January 22, 2009 by

Hey, check out this month’s buzz: Prolific blogger and oDesk user Doreen Martel talks up oDesk quite often on her “Freelancing and More” blog. Read her latest posts, including a four-point discussion about keeping your portfolio current, and keeping it targeted toward the kind of work you want to get. If you haven’t updated your portfolio lately (and even if you have), take a look at her advice. And while you’re there, read “Why oDesk” for some great thoughts about the value of our marketplace to the enterprising freelancer. Provider Arlene Cuares blogs from the Philippines about a recent trip to an impoverished rural province, where she contributed two weeks of oDesk earnings to those who’d otherwise have no food, let alone presents, on Christmas — and this despite having not much money to spare herself. Arlene describes having needed such holiday food giveaways herself as a child. I am paying it forward now. Thanks to oDesk for making this possible. Had it not been for oDesk, I wouldn’t be earning a decent income online and wouldn’t have the chance to save up for this charity work. Thanks to all my previous and present oDesk buyers. Arlene has our admiration for her selflessness, and our hope that she’s even more successful on oDesk in 2009! Adam Viener provides a few examples of small tasks he’s had done effectively and efficiently via oDesk providers. It’s a nice window into the experience of a new buyer finding ways to improve his business through oDesk. Over at Entrepr3neur.com, Marc Javellana posts a couple blogs about using oDesk — one that discusses (and comprehensively links to) the rising tide of non-programming jobs in our ever-growing marketplace, and one that talks about using oDesk’s metrics to … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Round of Applause (January 2009)

January 22, 2009 by

803 providers from 49 countries, including Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden got their first jobs in the last month. These 800 providers have already racked up 24,222 oDesk hours and over $238,483 in just one month. Congrats to the providers who landed their first jobs in the last 30 days! A special round of applause to the top new providers by total earnings: Jerzy Z, Amanda I, Mishra J, Greg J, Salnan W, Dmitriy L Alexey E, Anait S, Shushu I, Lester M, Naveen G, Rania A Want to see your name listed here next month? Get oDesk Ready, fill out your profile, and apply to job openings! (We will only feature providers with public profiles.) … Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

Demand for Linux Surges

January 22, 2009 by

So here we are in 2009 and if you haven’t been living under a rock, you know that you are no longer stuck with the choice between just Windows and Mac.  A third operating system, Linux, has edged its way into the mainstream, propagated by a passionate group of Linux developers. Today we are going to examine the growth of Linux from oDesk‘s perspective (oDesk is a marketplace for online workteams), looking at supply and demand for Linux-related freelance work and the geographies it is taking place in. Today, oDesk typically has 175-200 jobs posted per month with the “Linux” keyword in them.  A yearly snapshot of this metric shows serious growth. Year # of Jobs* 2006 128 2007 796 2008 2014 *Job openings with “Linux” as a keyword Linux jobs are clearly on the rise, but a more interesting piece of trivia is that there are currently 87 open jobs with the keyword “Linux,” compared to 134 jobs with “Windows” and 43 jobs with “Mac.” This indicates a 32% market share for Linux among new jobs, significantly higher than the 12.7% share of the server market and 1-2% share of the desktop market that Linux owns according to Wikipedia.  Of course, to suggest that Linux truly has a 32% market share on oDesk is aggressive; many job posters do not specify that they prefer Windows — it’s just assumed.  But perhaps this is a leading indicator of Linux’s continued growth on oDesk. Job Market Share on oDesk (linux, windows, mac) Looking at which countries are embracing Linux, we see the United States dominates in both posting Linux jobs and providing Linux professional services.  But, this may be … Read Full Article